Spending on emergency shelter is shocking; Byrne

CLLR MALCOLM BYRNE is concerned about the cost of emergency accommodation. (Pic; Joe Dixon Photography).

North Wexford’s Cllr Malcolm Byrne has informed WexfordToday.com that figures  provided to him show that Wexford County Council has spent €345,545 on hotel and bed and breakfast emergency accommodation for those who have found themselves homeless in the county over the first eight months of 2019, and he describes the situation as ‘shocking’.

“This figure is shocking and a significant expenditure by Wexford County Council, but behind it are the individuals and families who find themselves without a roof over their heads.” Cllr Byrne pointed out that while there has been some reduction in homeless numbers and that we are unlikely to hit the record €615,920 spent during all of 2019, he added; “We are still spending far more than we did for all of 2016, for example. The housing crisis is as acute as ever. While some people are not in emergency accommodation, they are in overcrowded conditions or couch surfing. It is becoming impossible in parts of the county to find affordable places to rent.”

Cllr Byrne criticised Government inaction on housing. “We need to get building more social housing and more affordable housing. There is a need to be radical. The Government just doesn’t get the scale of the crisis, but, given that Fine Gael in Wexford has stated that there is no homelessness in the county, it is clear that they are completely out of touch with what is happening on the ground.”

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